School Violence


Blaming video games for school shootings may reflect racist beliefs, study says

Daily Mail - Science & tech

People have long blamed video games as a cause of school shootings, but a new study has found that this is more likely to be the case if the perpetrator is white. Researchers have found that video games are eight times more likely to be mentioned when the perpetrator was a white male than if the shooter were an African American male. Experts believe the public looks to find an explanation for this type of behavior if the act is carried out by someone who doesn't match the racial stereotype of a violent person. Although many politicians and media outlets point to violent video games as the cause of school shootings, experts have yet to find scientific evidence to support these claims. 'Video games are often used by lawmakers and others as a red herring to distract from other potential causes of school shootings,' said lead researcher Patrick Markey, PhD, a psychology professor at Villanova University.


Artificial-intelligence voice is used in a theft - The Washington Post

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The request was "rather strange," the director noted later in an email, but the voice was so lifelike that he felt he had no choice but to comply. The insurer, whose case was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, provided new details on the theft to The Washington Post on Wednesday, including an email from the employee tricked by what the insurer is referring to internally as "the false Johannes." Now being developed by a wide range of Silicon Valley titans and AI start-ups, such voice-synthesis software can copy the rhythms and intonations of a person's voice and be used to produce convincing speech. Tech giants such as Google and smaller firms such as the "ultrarealistic voice cloning" start-up Lyrebird have helped refine the resulting fakes and made the tools more widely available free for unlimited use. But the synthetic audio and AI-generated videos, known as "deepfakes," have fueled growing anxieties over how the new technologies can erode public trust, empower criminals and make traditional communication -- business deals, family phone calls, presidential campaigns -- that much more vulnerable to computerized manipulation.


Aegis AI Software Detects Gun Threats And Provides Real-Time Alerts

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During the Parkland, Florida, school shooting in 2018, the shooter was caught on a security camera pulling his rifle out of a duffle bag in the staircase 15 seconds before discharging the first round. However, the School Resource Officer didn't enter the building because he wasn't confident about the situation, and the Coral Springs Police Department had no idea what the shooter even looked like until 7 minutes and 30 seconds after the first round was fired. If the video system had included technology to recognize the gun threat in real time, alerts could have been sent to the security team. An announcement could have been made right away for all students and faculty in Building 12 to barricade their doors, and law enforcement could have responded a lot faster to a real-time feed of timely and accurate information. Aegis AI offers such a technology, which the company says enables existing security cameras to automatically recognize gun threats and notify security in real-time.


An artificial-intelligence first: Voice-mimicking software reportedly used in a major theft

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Thieves used voice-mimicking software to imitate a company executive's speech and dupe his subordinate into sending hundreds of thousands of dollars to a secret account, the company's insurer said, in a remarkable case that some researchers are calling one of the world's first publicly reported artificial-intelligence heists. The managing director of a British energy company, believing his boss was on the phone, followed orders one Friday afternoon in March to wire more than $240,000 to an account in Hungary, said representatives from the French insurance giant Euler Hermes, which declined to name the company. The request was "rather strange," the director noted later in an email, but the voice was so lifelike that he felt he had no choice but to comply. The insurer, whose case was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, provided new details on the theft to The Washington Post on Wednesday, including an email from the employee tricked by what the insurer is referring to internally as "the false Johannes." Now being developed by a wide range of Silicon Valley titans and AI start-ups, such voice-synthesis software can copy the rhythms and intonations of a person's voice and be used to produce convincing speech.


Artificial Intelligence Firearm Detection For K-12 Schools and Colleges

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By routing your camera feeds to our AI Engine, you can be informed in just 3 seconds when a firearm is detected in surveillance cameras. Additionally, this AI technology can track shooters in real time, providing shooter location(s) and fast live updates to police, school security and educators. In the wake of school shooting incidents over the past 10 years, people are anxious about creating safe environments. The ability to detect weapons on premises is unfortunately a necessity now. Cameras are already in place at most schools.


ESPN Delays Broadcast of Video Game Tournament After Mass Shootings

TIME - Tech

Disney's ESPN has chosen not to broadcast a recent video-game competition -- one that features gun violence -- in the wake of last weekend's mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, according to a person familiar with the plans. ESPN is delaying its planned Aug. 10 broadcast of a recent tournament for Apex Legends, a popular battle royale game made by publisher Electronic Arts Inc., the person said, asking not to be identified as the matter is internal. The decision comes in the wake of the two shootings that prompted politicians, including President Donald Trump, to say video games that glorify violence could be contributing to the country's shooting epidemic. ESPN2 will air the taped segment on three nights in October, according to the person. It will still be available this weekend on ESPN's digital channels, including its app.


How former Navy SEALs use artificial intelligence to make schools safer Video NJTV News

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Dustin is posing as an active shooter armed with an assault rifle. If he thinks he's undetected looking to prey on the unsuspecting, he'd be completely wrong. We've tested a couple different model architectures and we use that over existing security cameras using different types of GPUs to be able to digest those video feeds, run analytics over it looking for a weapon and then sending the alert out," said Mike Lahiff, CEO of ZeroEyes. The alert goes out in a flash to law enforcers and administrators with video of Dustin's movements and location. "Instantly, I would get on my police radio and notify first responders that I have a possible threat on location.


The Unproven, Invasive Surveillance Technology Schools Are Using to Monitor Students

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ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up for ProPublica's Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox as soon as they are published. Ariella Russcol specializes in drama at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Queens, New York, and the senior's performance on this April afternoon didn't disappoint. While the library is normally the quietest room in the school, her ear-piercing screams sounded more like a horror movie than study hall. But they weren't enough to set off a small microphone in the ceiling that was supposed to detect aggression.


A Device to Detect 'Aggression' in Schools Often Misfires

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This story was co-published with ProPublica. Ariella Russcol specializes in drama at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Queens, New York, and the senior's performance on this April afternoon didn't disappoint. While the library is normally the quietest room in the school, her ear-piercing screams sounded more like a horror movie than study hall. But they weren't enough to set off a small microphone in the ceiling that was supposed to detect aggression. A few days later, at the Staples Pathways Academy in Westport, Connecticut, junior Sami D'Anna inadvertently triggered the same device with a less spooky sound--a coughing fit from a lingering chest cold.


New York school district's facial recognition system sparks privacy fears

The Guardian

A school district in western New York is launching a first-of-its-kind facial recognition system, generating new privacy concerns about the powerful but controversial technology. The Lockport city school district is beginning implementation of the Aegis facial recognition system this week, officials said, with the technology expected to be fully up and running in time for the new school year in September. "Much to our dismay, school shootings continue to occur in our country. In many cases, these shootings involve students connected to the schools where these horrific incidents occur," superintendent Michelle Bradley said in a message to parents. "The Lockport city school district continues to make school security a priority."